Oakland (60-71) at Boston (80-51)

Mostly Clear Currently: Boston, MA, US
Temp: 19° F
  • Game info: 12:05 pm EDT Sat Aug 27, 2011
  • TV: CSCA, NESN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Because of the threat of Hurricane Irene, the Boston Red Sox will play two games against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday. The Red Sox are hoping at least one of those features a better pitching performance than in the series opener.

After yielding their second-most runs in a game this season, the AL East leaders will try to bounce back with help from Jon Lester(notes) in the opener of a doubleheader at Fenway Park.

Rain is in the forecast for Saturday and Irene is expected to arrive Sunday, making it “prudent” to move the finale of a three-game set up one day.

“This will not only give us the best opportunity to play the scheduled games, but also help to insure that traveling conditions are safer for our fans,” Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino said.

If it can get the games in, Boston (80-51) will try to recover from a 15-5 drubbing Friday night and add to its one-game lead over New York. The Red Sox used four pitchers in the series opener loss with outfielder Darnell McDonald(notes) pitching the ninth and giving up a two-run double to Josh Willingham(notes).

“I just wanted Mac to try to throw strikes and try to save (the bullpen),” manager Terry Francona said. “So, with two games tomorrow, because Mac was able to go out there, maybe we have a better chance of winning the game tomorrow.”

Willingham and Scott Sizemore(notes) also each hit a two-run homer as the A’s rebounded from their most lopsided defeat of the season, 22-9 to the Yankees on Thursday.

“We just tried to move on (from Thursday),” manager Bob Melvin said. “We really just tried to move on.”

Oakland (60-71) has scored the fourth-most runs in the majors (212) since the All-Star break and collected 11 or more hits in four straight games.

Judging by his last two outings, Lester (13-6, 3.16 ERA) would appear poised to end that streak.

The left-hander has allowed one run and three hits in each of his last two starts, including a 6-1 win in Kansas City on Sunday. He’ll face Oakland for the first time since 2009, hoping for a better outing than his two matchups during that season, when he gave up 10 runs over 11 2-3 innings.

Lester is 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight career starts versus the A’s.

Oakland will counter with Guillermo Moscoso(notes) (6-7, 3.28), who suffered a tough loss Sunday. He gave up one run and three hits over eight innings to Toronto but was on the wrong end of a 1-0 score as Jemile Weeks(notes) recorded the A’s only hit.

Moscoso will make his first start against Boston, as will right-hander Graham Godfrey(notes) (1-1, 4.24) in the nightcap.

Godfrey, who is expected to be called up from the minors, made his three previous major league starts in June. He’s 13-3 with a 2.75 ERA in 18 games at Triple-A Sacramento this season.

Godfrey will be opposed by Erik Bedard(notes) (4-9, 3.57), again seeking his first win since the Red Sox acquired him from Seattle on July 31. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 4.09 ERA in four starts for Boston and gave up four runs over six innings of a 4-0 loss at Texas on Monday.

Bedard, who will try to avoid a career-worst sixth straight defeat, is 4-0 with a 0.63 ERA in his last four starts against the A’s but hasn’t faced them since 2009.

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Starting Pitchers

G. Moscoso SF vs. J. Lester CHC
8-10 Record 15-9
3.38 ERA 3.47
74 K 182
38 BB 75
1.09 WHIP 1.26